Order and disorder in crystalline ice explained

A fascinating substance with unique properties, ice has intrigued humans since time immemorial. Unlike most other materials, ice at very low temperature is not as ordered as it could be. A collaboration between the Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA), the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), the Institute of Physics Rosario […]

Ghostly circles in the sky can’t be explained. And astronomers are excited.

In September 2019, my colleague Anna Kapinska gave a presentation showing interesting objects she’d found while browsing our new radio astronomical data. She had started noticing very weird shapes she couldn’t fit easily to any known type of object. Among them, labeled by Anna as WTF?, was a picture of a ghostly circle of radio emission, […]

The world’s biggest jet engine, explained

The engine’s fan measures about 11 feet across. (GE Aviation/) Late last month, the Federal Aviation Administration signed off on the biggest commercial jet engine in the world. The huge thrusters that it certified are the GE9X engines, one of which hangs under each wing of Boeing’s new widebody 777x aircraft. That plane flew for […]